Throughout the ages, readers have had numerous options. Depending on your personal preferences, you have been able to pick up mainstream fiction, geeky non-fiction, graphic novels, and magazines, amongst other things.
Chat stories are the latest offerings. Presented as short stories delivered in the form of text messages, these apps are wildly popular with younger readers. All you need to do is tap the bottom of the screen to reveal the next message, making it easy to lose yourself in a narrative.
If you’re interested in reading chat stories, here are the best chat stories apps available…
Expect the stories on ReadIt to capture your interest right away. However, keep in mind that you need to get a subscription to read the full stories and to view the images. Many users start out not expecting that and end up disappointed as a result, despite their enjoyment of the material.
The available genres include horror, romance, and thrillers. The app selects fictional chats for you to read automatically. But you can choose your own stories as well by scrolling to the top and tapping the X button.
ReadIt is one of the highest-rated chat stories apps on iTunes, and it’s worth downloading to find out for yourself why that’s the case.
Hooked brings addictive chat stories to the masses through a business model that emphasizes how stories must evolve, as the company explains on Medium. This proved immensely successful as Hooked surpassed Instagram and Snapchat in the iTunes charts at one time.
Like the other apps mentioned here, Hooked offers original stories in a chat-based format. You can even download audio recordings to hear actors read the messages aloud as they appear onscreen. If you don’t feel like reading, Hooked also offers short films to watch.
The content covers a range of genres, including romance, horror, mystery, and comedy.
You need to sign up for a subscription to access anything in Hooked, although you can take advantage of a free, three-day trial to see if you like it first.
While the other apps on this list let you read existing chat-style stories, TextingStory is a tool that lets you create your own.
Make up an exciting story and write it out in text-message form with as many different characters as you like. Add extra color with pictures and GIFs. Then export your finished story as a video to share with your friends.
TextingStory is free to download and use. But you need in-app purchases to add custom alert sounds or to unlock picture and GIF support.
After you finish writing your story, choose the video speed and format you want before exporting it. You need to buy an additional in-app purchase to remove the TextingStory watermark from your finished videos.
You read most chat stories as if viewing someone’s messaging history. However, with Cliffhanger, you become part of the story. In each chat, there are moments where Cliffhanger lets you choose a response to determine what happens next.
As you may have expected from the name, most of Cliffhanger’s stories are thriller, mystery, or horror. You can enjoy stories for free, or sign up for a weekly subscription for more even stories along with access to images and videos.
Fans of Cliffhanger say the text stories in this app are easy to understand and totally addictive. They confess to spending hours getting lost in the stories, which are updated every week. So if you’re preparing for a long plane or train ride, this app could make the journey more bearable.
5. Tap by Wattpad
Instead of offering text-only chat stories, Tap by Wattpad presents stories with images, colorful backgrounds, sounds, and videos. This makes every story even more engaging and takes full advantage of the technology available on your smartphone.
Tap by Wattpad offers an enormous library of stories covering every genre imaginable, including an LGBTQ+ section. Most of these stories offer alternate endings, giving you more reason to revisit your favorites time and time again.
Enjoy the Tap Original stories that come out every week and are exclusive to this app. They offer something new to read even if you use the other story apps on this list. You can also read or create original stories written by other Tap by Wattpad users.
Yarn makes it feel as though you’re peeking through other people’s text messages and learning stories about their life. With a premium subscription, you can enjoy pictures, videos, and audio clips as well. The Yarn app even lets you choose your own responses to change the direction of chat stories.
Analysts say these kinds of chat stories may change the publishing industry with new popular content. And Yarn is further pushing the boundaries with short video episodes to watch as well.
Yarn releases new episodes and conversations daily, keeping everything short to make it easy to binge through lots at once. Just remember, you need to pay for a subscription to unlock unlimited and exclusive content.
With LEAK you can read short chat stories for free since the app is ad-supported, rather than subscription-based. That said, you can get a cheap subscription to remove those ads and unlock even more content. Unfortunately, LEAK is only available on your iPhone.
Enjoy stories from every genre: love, paranormal, thriller, drama, and more. LEAK keeps all of them short and easy to digest, spicing up conversations with the occasional image or status update as well.
It isn’t the best-looking app on this list, but LEAK is quick and easy to use with fewer restrictions than you’ll find elsewhere. That is, if you don’t mind putting up with the occasional ad.
8. Scary Chat Stories – Addicted
If you like reading edge-of-your-seat scary stories but can’t afford the subscriptions, try this app instead. Unlike the other chat story apps on this list, Scary Chat Stories is completely free.
You can read as many scary stories as you like and enjoy all of the pictures in them without paying for anything. That does mean you need to watch ads instead, which is how the app supports itself. However, you can skip them after a few seconds.
Unfortunately, the spelling and grammar aren’t as good as in other text-based story apps. But if you can see past the questionable writing quality, Scary Chat Stories seems delivers fairly well thanks to its vast catalog of engaging stories.
With a regularly updated story collection from in-house writers, this app covers both horror and romance genres. Although stories are still presented in text form, complete with pictures, Lure adds descriptions and actions between the messages so you can follow exactly what’s happening in each story.
Statistics at the top of a story’s introduction screen show how many people viewed and loved each tale. The introduction screen also tells you how long you can expect to spend reading it, with most stories averaging just under an hour.
When reading without a subscription, there is a waiting period that prevents tapping to immediately see the next section. A subscription removes the adverts and the need to wait. You can also purchase gems to spend on more stories without a subscription.
Sadly, Lure is only available for iOS.